I went vegan a year and a half ago in 2016 after meeting some very influential people. They had been living a vegan lifestyle for a number of decades and looked amazing. The amount of energy and vitality these people had inspired me. Learning about people like Dick Gregory who was well into his 80’s and healthy started to wake me up. One of the key phrases that resonated most with me was “Is your body a garden or a graveyard?” I started to look around at my community, and all the stereotypes associated with our health. As I did my research I found that illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes were not hereditary, but were directly linked to the “slave food” a lot of our people had been fed. Due to this I went vegan cold turkey (pun intended).
Before I made the transition, I assumed that most vegans were skinny. However since my drive to go vegan was so strong, I was okay with no longer having muscles since the change was for my health. Once I made the transition, I learned about vegan bodybuilders, athletes, and NFL players, and it really expanded my horizons. It showed me that I could indeed maintain my size and even grow! Since the transition, some of the health benefits I’ve noticed have been: awaking with more energy, faster recovery times after workouts, elimination of joint and knee pain, increased strength, and a stronger immune system to name a few.
Oftentimes people are surprised that I am a vegan since I don’t “look” like one. When I walk into a restaurant, I typically receive the “Who is this buff black man” look and they assume I’m there to simply use the restroom. I like to wear vegan apparel to show that Black Vegans do exist. I’m okay with not fitting into any preconceived “Vegan” look. I started @VeganHotep a few months ago after being asked many questions in regards to my fitness and diet. Through that avenue I’ve received numerous messages from people who I’ve inspired and are taking steps towards healthy living. The coolest surprise has been seeing family and friends switch over to a vegan lifestyle as well.
I reside in Los Angeles with my wife, after relocating from Brooklyn NY, and have a career in Finance.